Just as the cow converts grass into milk,
we have to convert negatives into
positives, writes maulana wahiduddin khan
Leading A Spiritual Life
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Publisher: Goodword Books
Price: Rs 110
We have to develop in our personality what may
be called the capacity for conversion; we have to
turn negative experiences into positive thinking.
n the 1930s, I was a student of a village
madrasa in Uttar Pradesh.
There I studied an Urdu
Reader ; in which there
was a poem composed by the
well-known poet, Ismail
Meerathi. It was titled Hamari
Gaye — Our Cow. One of the
verses went like this: Kaljo ghas
chari thi ban mein , Doodh bani woh
gaye ke than mein.
It means that the cow is a spe-
cial kind of animal. It takes grass and in re-
turn gives us milk. In other words, the cow
is a divine industry which is able to convert
‘non-milk’ into milk. This poem became a
part of my memory. It taught me a great les-
son. God, the creator, has made the cow a
model for human behaviour in that it gives
us a lesson in high morality. We must devel-
op this quality of conversion in our person-
ality, so that we may convert negative thought
into positive thought.
It is said that man is a social animal. But
what is society? Society is full of differences.
Every day we experience some provocative
situation, every day we face some unwanted
behaviour from others, and every day we suf-
fer anger and tension because of conflicts aris-
ing out of differences.
Then what to do? The cow is the answer.
God has created a model in the form of the
cow. We have to adopt cow culture, we have
to develop in our personality what may be
called the capacity for conversion; we have
to turn negative experiences into positive
The fact is that everyone enjoys freedom.
But everyone is free to misuse his freedom.
It is this misuse of freedom that creates prob-
lems. As we cannot abolish people s freedom,
we have no option but to learn the art of
The present world is a testing
ground. Every man and woman here
is being tested. If they have freedom it
is because, without freedom, there can
be no test. The freedom is God-giv-
en, and as such, no one has the li-
cense to abolish it.Thus we have no
option but to follow the cow pat-
tern.The cow culture means learn-
ing the art of anger management,
learning the art of converting anger
into forgiveness, learning the art of con-
verting anger into peaceability.
Leaving society and going to the jungle
or the mountains is a lower form of spiri-
tuality.The higher form of spirituality is that
which is demonstrated by the cow. We have
to live with people, experience all kinds of
unwanted behaviour from others, but try
not to react negatively. You have to imitate
the cow. Just as the cow converts grass into
milk, you have to convert negative thought
into positive thought.This is the highest form
Most men and women are battling stress.
They ask what is the way to de-stress. I
would suggest that they learn a lesson from
the cow. They should adopt the cow habit
in their affairs and they will be able to de-
stress themselves quite successfully.The cow
represents an elevated form of lifestyle. Adopt
this lifestyle, and you will be able to enjoy
a tension-free life. ■
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